Fall Pre-Orders Available Now!

Hourglass Unlocked Ghost Edition Ambient Lighting Palette (2019) Review & Swatches


Unlocked (Ghost Edition)

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a re-release of last holiday’s Unlocked palette, which was apparently quite popular!

As it sold out quite quickly through Hourglass and Sephora (but is still in stock at Nordstrom, Beautylish, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Selfridges and from when I last checked), I wanted to get this “review” up as soon as possible–I’ve gone through and checked for coverage, texture, application, and wear tests of the four cheek colors (but not the finishing powders, as I don’t expect them to perform differently as this formula has been quite consistent).

Visually, the brand swapped the positions of the highlighter and bronzer, and Mood Flush appeared darker and warmer in the pan but seemed very similar swatched and applied (the label on the back shows the 3rd position as the bronzer and 6th as the highlighter, though).  Champagne Strobe Light was sheerer in this release than the original, though it was buildable.  Nude Glow and Golden Bronze Light were both more medium, buildable in coverage than they were in the original release, but this is more in line with how they’re marketed (so they scored higher).

For a more in-depth review of the two finishing powders, please see my original review as I’ve summarized more “briefly” below.


Soft Light

Soft Light is a soft, light-medium peach with warm undertones and a satin sheen. It had sheer, translucent coverage (the left swatch is heavily packed on to show the finish/color) that was easy to apply all-over the face. The texture was soft, finely-milled, and sat well on my skin as it softened the look of pores and skin texture without adding overt shimmer.

I didn’t test for longevity here, but in the past, the original launch of this shade and other Ambient Lighting Powders add an hour or two of extended wear to base complexions (though it is a finishing powder) and do not shorten the wear of complexion products.

Formula Overview

$48.00/0.35 oz. - $137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride),Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide),Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide),Ci 75470 (Carmine).

Filtered Light

Filtered Light is a light, yellowy brown with strong, warm undertones and a satin finish. It actually had a fair amount of coverage and noticeably darkened wherever I applied it, so I had to use a very light hand and a fluffier brush to avoid it darkening but then the “poreless” effect was harder to achieve. It is significantly more pigmented (one layer of product on the left, as if it was a bronzer–no packing necessary to show the color) than other Ambient Lighting Powders, though, as they’re supposed to be translucent.

I would, however, expect this to still translate beautifully on deeper skin tones where that increased coverage level wouldn’t be detectable, and the powder, even when applied at its higher coverage, it never looked cakey or powdery applied. For those who are fairer, it would work well as an all-over bronzer or a very subtle bronzer for more targeted application.

I didn’t test for longevity here, but in the past, the original launch of this shade and other Ambient Lighting Powders add an hour or two of extended wear to base complexions (though it is a finishing powder) and do not shorten the wear of complexion products.

Formula Overview

$48.00/0.35 oz. - $137.14 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders).

If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride),Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide),Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide),Ci 75470 (Carmine).

Champagne Strobe Light

Champagne Strobe Light is a light-medium gold with moderate, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had medium coverage, which was buildable to mostly opaque coverage, but it was less pigmented than marketed. The texture was slightly drier to the touch, which gave it a more powdery feel (likely part of why it wasn’t as pigmented), though I didn’t feel like the dryness translated on my skin; it was still smoothing, luminous without emphasizing my skin texture, and easy to work with. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

Formula Overview

-

The brand described the formula as "formulated with intensely concentrated, multifaceted pearl particles" to give "the most reflective glow." It's supposed to have a "velvety texture." These seem to be an intensified version of the brand's Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders, but this formula is not presently available individually. The Metallic variation has a lot more pearl and is aptly described as "metallic."

The powders had a soft, lightly dusty texture in the pan, but they blended out nicely on the skin and were definitely high-shine, intense highlighters on the skin (both dry and damp). They were fairly pigmented with coverage ranging from medium, buildable to full depending on the shade and whether it was used dry or damp with damp application always yielded more coverage and a shinier finish. The highlighters wore well for seven and a half to eight hours on me.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder swatches.

Nude Glow

Nude Glow is a light-medium peach with warm undertones and fine, golden shimmer over a satin finish. It had medium, buildable coverage–which was less pigmentation than the original release but was more in line with how the formula is marketed (buildable!)–paired with a soft, silky texture that was very finely-milled to the point where it was slightly dusty in the pan. The powder applied well to bare skin and sat well without emphasizing skin texture. It stayed on well for eight hours on me before I noticed signs of fading.

Formula Overview

$40.00/0.15 oz. - $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol; Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Mood Flush

Mood Flush is a muted, medium-dark pink with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had buildable pigmentation from semi-opaque to opaque, while the consistency was finely-milled, silky, and smooth to the touch without being too powdery nor too firmly-pressed into the pan. While it appeared darker in the pan in this edition than the original, it appeared very similar swatched and applied. This shade lasted nicely for eight and a half hours on me before fading a bit.

Formula Overview

$40.00/0.15 oz. - $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “depth and dimension” unlike traditional blush, be “lightweight and airy,” and have the “perfect balance of pigment and powder.” Hourglass says it uses “an advanced ‘miscelare’ technique,” which means to mix in Italian (per Sephora) and is how the marbled effect is achieved. The blush is also supposed to have “buildable color.” It does bring to mind the concept of a lot of baked formulas on the market, but I think the texture is softer and more finely-milled than most.

The texture is very soft and delicate; it feels exactly like the Ambient Lighting Powders. In an all-over powder, I don’t mind what can sometimes veer on powderiness, but in a blush, it can be easy to overload color onto the blush and then onto the skin. I wish it was slightly firmer or less powdery, which would minimize waste and make it more foolproof to apply.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol; Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, May Contain: (+/-): Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Golden Bronze Light

Golden Bronze Light is a medium-dark brown with warm, rosy undertones and warmer, golden micro-shimmer. The original release was quite pigmented, but the version in the palette had more medium, buildable coverage–which is actually how it’s supposed to be!–but the texture was finely-milled, blendable, and easy to work with. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading noticeably.

Formula Overview

$52.00/0.39 oz. - $133.33 Per Ounce

The Ambient Lighting Bronzer formula is supposed have a “sheer, airy” feel (sheer as in texture) that give a “natural, sun-kissed glow” with the “illuminating effects of Ambient Lighting Powder” with “bronze pigments” that give it “buildable color.” The formula tends to be more pigmented (usually semi-opaque), but the textures are always soft enough that a less dense brush or lighter hand is an option for picking up less product and getting less coverage. I find that the bronzer formula tends to be less powdery compared to the original Ambient Lighting Powders, which is nice. The wear is typically around eight hours on me.

Browse all of our Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer swatches.

Ingredients

Mica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Boron Nitride, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Octyldodecanol, Benzoic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Diamond Powder, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tin Oxide, Trimethylsiloxysilicate. May Contain (+/-): Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Unlocked (Ghost Edition) Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Soft Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Filtered Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Champagne Strobe Light Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Powder

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Nude Glow Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Mood Flush Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Golden Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer